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bluesheep

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About bluesheep

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  1. Told To Cut Costs

    I'm sorry I can't help on ways to cut costs but my brother's school used funmats to raise funds - lots of parents ordered quite a bit and it was apparently quite a success. You have to be organised and book a slot well in advance for printing etc but was worth it. A slot for Christmas orders next year has been secured already!!!
  2. I have a girl in my class who basically lived in the shadow of her much more confident and vocal friend from Nursery. If she needed anything she would get her friend to ask us for it. If she was in a 1-1 or small group situation with me and my TA she would wither be silent or speak so quietly it was inaudible. Her baseline was based on what we had seen her do and had a note attached explaining the situation. Almost a term later, she has come out of her shell and is a much more confident, active and vocal participant member of the class. Her 'data' for this term will look like she has made a HUGE amount of progress within the term - count order recognise nos 1-10 confidently and independently, knows 22 sounds, can blends sounds together etc compared to the start of term. However this will be accompanied with a note explaining that she is much more confident etc so the Head doesn't get too excited about the progress this child has made and is expecting this amount of progress from her each term and from every child I teach!!!! When I show parents the baseline data, I explain that this is a snapshot over 3 weeks and that the main focus is settling the children in, getting to know the children and that the average child will achieve 6 of the ELGS for each aspect thingy. (Sorry Friday night brain!) When I was in KS1 & 2, we erred on the side of caution and is a child was borderline between 2 levels we did give them the lower level on the basis that if we weren't confident about the judgement being the higher one then the lower one was right e.g. 1a rather than 2c. It maybe that in the time the baseline data was being collected, that the little boy was lacking confidence and did not demonstrate these things during that time - we can only record what we see at the time. All our feeder nurseries and pre schools sent us an an agreed common transfer document which gave us an indication of where the children were and what they had achieved when the document had been completed bearing in mind that there was a gap of 12 weeks between completion of the document and them starting school. Some of those children may have been in fulltime Nursery and others may have had 6-8 weeks out of a setting for the holidays. We also found that some parents had worked with their children over the holidays, teaching them to write ther own name, counting letter sounds etc. Another factor would be that at that initial stage, they would be observing the chn to see who was able to count upto 10 to inform planning and enable those who were not at that time to have opportunities to enable them to achieve this ELG. Perhaps next year it might be worth considering sending up reports/transfer documents at the end of the summer term to give the teachers an opportunity to see what the children have achieved by then to enable them to take this into account in September. Hope this helps :-)
  3. I'm really sorry you are feeling as you are and hope I can offer some light in to how any non specific incident would be dealt with in my class/school. I'm sorry but haven't yet read any other of your posts re: confidence so am responding to what I have read re this incident. If there is an incident in school, we would talk to parents after school about the incident, explaining how the incident came to our attention, what we did to find out what happened, what we know/have been told had happened, how we resolved it and what we would be doing next. We would not contact the parent by telephone during the day - unless for a medical emergency and then it would be the school Admin person who has responsibility as teachers are expected to be teaching and preparing at all other times. It is best to speak to the parent face to face rather than over the telephone. If a child had been hurt by another child, we would explain that we would also be speaking to the other's child's parent. We have a huge emphasis on honesty - If a child for example had hit or pushed another child, we would talk to each child separately, we would find out what had happened before - were they playing with each other, who else was playing, what were they playing, and the incident itself. If there was an inconsistency in stories, then I would remind them of how much we value honesty (in language appropriate to their age) and give them a few moments to have a think about things - usually we know the children well enough to know when this is needed ;-) and then settle the rest of the class on to what we are doing (we remind children even in reception that they are to raise it with the teachers/dinner ladies outside and they deal with it without time in class being disrupted to deal with incidents in the playground). We would them come back to them and ask again. If a child is overly distraught and it is out of character, we would perhaps leave some time for them to calm down a little to be in a position to talk to us calmly and then we would gently ask again. We do emphasis with children that unless they tell us what happens we cannot sort something out. If a child hits or pushes another child, we would generally keep them inside for the next playtime. If it is a continued offence, they then visit the next in line in the chain of command, with the Head as final follow up - firm but nice on the first (and hopefully last) visit. If for example has happened, other details about the incident emerge overnight, parents usually speak to us the next day. We would then further investigate during the day and feedback to the parent that evening. Sorry to ask but have you told the teacher the details that have since emerged? If your son was in my class, then yes, I would have spoken to you as above. If parents don't personally collect children and the child goes home via childminder or grandparent, yes a note would go home explaining the details as I don't feel it is fair to ask that person to pass on a message from me - I would explain what was in the note and ask if they ensure the parent received it. The note from school seems reasonable and to be honest I personally would have spoken to the teacher rather than rung up and spoken to someone in the office who is not aware of the details and incident and may not have fully passed on the message. If teachers are not aware of all the details of an incident then it is not possible to investigate fuller. If further details come to light, then is possible to do this. We would speak to the child and ask them to tell us everything that happened, respond and deal with but if we don't know everything that happened then we can't sort it out. We do as a regular circle time remind children what to do when incidents happen in the playground including telling us everything that happened. So going forward, I would speak to the class teacher, explain that since the incident happened further details have emerged and detail them, explain that your son is lacking confidence in expressing himself with regards to incidents and hold off from speaking to the Head. I would also be careful as Phil suggests in the language you use too. I hope you manage to sort things out.
  4. I googled a while back and found one from Hertfordshire and have attached - I think! I also found ones on the tes website too which is where I found the list of books for book bands too. ks_1_2_levels_bk_bnds.doc
  5. Also check out the TES resources site - someone has put up a version covering many of the main publishers. Also Cumbria have a search function for books to Reading Recovery/Book Band Level which can be 'equated' to Book Band Level. We did find once we had got the books mainly sorted, we were then able to make a judgement on the other books we could not find a level for. http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/childrensservice...ks/viewlist.asp
  6. Nativity Costumes In Supermarkets

    Oooooo fabulous - thank you! It's the only thing I miss so far about doing the weekly shop! Right ho will know where to direct them when I get asked. I do miss the checked tea towels with the shepherds from years ago - perhaps I'm getting a bit nostalgic!
  7. Books With Dvd's

    The works tend to have a few instore now and again - little rabbit foo foo, handas surprise etc. There is a book store in hay on wye who have lots of children's books esp ones with dvds - HCB wholesale - they have a site on amazon too. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/shops/storefron...=A20DE62P3D58VZ
  8. Nativity Costumes In Supermarkets

    Does anyone know if any of the supermarkets are doing Nativity costumes this year? Last year we had a plethora of shepherds from Sainsbury's and Angels from Asda (and from other supermarkets). As I do most of my shopping online as they are no longer on my route home and have my weekends planned for the next few weeks, I was wondering if anyone had seen any instore and where? We do have quite a lot of parents who go for the shop bought option so it wondered if anyone had seen any about yet?
  9. Nativity Story Books

    The Usbourne version is a nice one but not a 'big' book though. Because we are a church school, we tend to use a children's bible - The Lion First Bible has a simple version which has worked well in Reception and Year 1. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Lion-First-Bible-P...6344&sr=8-4
  10. Burn Out...already?

    Me too - know what you mean in bucket loads and have decided enough is enough and have decided to pursue one of my hobbies as a job and become a garden designer. At least if I'm not doing something right I won't be grumbled at too much - the plants will just show me!
  11. Assembly

    How about making new friends & linking in with the Getting on & Falling out SEAL topic? When we got back after half term, I read Lost and Found to my class. It's such a lovely story and beautifully illustrated but we were having a couple of issues where old friendships from pre-school were being superseded by new ones with the old friends being left behind and often on their own. We talked about the penguin being lonely and what lonely meant and how it felt as well. The children came up with some tips for what to do if someone is feeling lonely, needs to make new friends, how to make new friends, as well as talking about what they would do if they were the penguin/the little boy. Perhaps you could do a top tips for making new friends or something like that?
  12. One piece of advice I would give is to go through each day and talk yourself through it - what do you do, how do you do it, who does it & if they aren't there who else? And then think about the special times at the end of terms and holidays. Also the silly things we all take for granted - what happens for your birthday - cakes, no cakes - what happens if your birthday falls right in the middle of the Christmas holidays, then Christmas itself - do you all give each other cards, presents, go out for a meal etc.. I only say this as when I started working in a school where there had been no one new since ... everyone assumed that just because I had done supply that I knew about end of term arrangements, playground duties, first aid, that no one sent each other christmas cards although you gave one to the Head, TAs had about £20 spent on them for Christmas and end of year present (out of our own pockets). I gave up counting how many questions I asked during the first term and even after 2 years was still asking - although I used to turn to one colleague and and give a quizzical look & she'd give me the 'I'll fill you in later' look back! The worst thing that no one ever told me was about Friday cakes - it was my playtime duty and I always missed out until it was my non contact time rescheduled one day... My TA didn't know I didn't know otherwise she would have brought me one down - she thought I was being incredibly good!
  13. Not sure I can help with the music element of things but in terms of movement, I'm using Jungle Journey which is a fine and gross motor programme. I do the Gross Motor activities as a 'PE' session and have seen some really good progress over the 2 terms I have been using it. My old school were using Val Sabiens but this has just been turfed out in favour of other resources which have been produced locally. I guess it depends on your objectives but there's a couple of series on cbeebies which might be a good starting place and there is a Aussie programme which involves moving & music (sorry it's been a long day!) I think it's called Hi-5 and know that they have CDs and DVDs which have some good songs the children can interact with and join in with.
  14. There are some really good songs in Jungle Journey - we have been using for the past year or so and the children have enjoyed singing them. We've also seen some really good improvements in gross and fine motor skills over the course of the programme - well worth the money for the book.
  15. Spades! But make sure they aren't the ones where the foot bit (I'm sure there is a technical name) can be pushed up the handle. We use these for the digging pit and the children love them with the wellies we provide. We dig down and hide some treasure in the pit and wait for the children to find it! Other things, hard hats, waterproof trousers and coats, bulbs for spring, gross motor equipment and seating too! Happy shopping!
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